By Dr Tom Lonsdale
For more than 30 years, I have studied the effects of feeding pet dogs and cats a raw meaty bones diet, and I have found it to be substantially better than manufactured pet food.
Indeed, my research strongly suggests that swapping pets from canned pet food and packaged kibble to raw meaty bones reduces the likelihood of periodontal disease (gum disease) in domesticated animals by up to 100 percent.
Between 1989 and 2022, when I retired from general veterinary practice, I treated many thousands of pet dogs and cats of varying ages and breeds.
While the majority of pets were brought to my veterinary practice in New South Wales for minor injuries or a routine check-up, I found that almost all had periodontal disease ranging from early onset to late-stage severe.
I recommended that every client should consider replacing the standard commercial pet food diet with a raw meaty bones diet. When they did, we found that this change of diet rectified most of the visible signs of early onset dental and gum disease within a matter of days.
In addition, the diet change also fixed bad breath and led to greater vitality and glossier coats.
For patients with more severe periodontal disease, dental cleaning and extractions coupled with diet change invariably produced the same good outcomes.
My research confirmed that, alongside house cats the dog breeds most affected are the small and flat-faced breeds and those with long noses, including chihuahuas, pugs, Pekingese, French bulldogs, Italian greyhounds, rough collies, Shetland sheepdogs and poodles.
My thirty-year study was not a university-based, funded, formal, clinical trial. No such trial has ever been published, and for good (bad) reason. Pet food companies will not fund such studies and universities dependent on company funds will not provide the research facilities.
In 1992 I published my first paper showing how a raw meaty bones diet promotes health and overcomes immune system depression. This research was further expanded, and the results published in 1995 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Small Animal Practice. Despite the importance of the research – for both veterinary and human medicine – from almost 30 years ago, no other researcher has attempted to either refute or confirm the findings. Such is the state of the veterinary profession/pet food industry alliance and the consequences for our society.
Throughout my research career, I kept detailed notes of all my case studies and can say that the results are as plain as the nose on your face and speak for themselves. Importantly, the case studies can be easily reproduced, with the exact same beneficial results, by any pet owner or vet.
In this regard, I’m proud to say that the Centre for Veterinary Education (CVE) at Sydney University commissioned me to write the 1993 definitive article for vets, ‘Preventative Dentistry’, which, besides the veterinary information, contained the legal opinion that selling and promoting artificial pet foods most likely contravenes existing laws and statutes. In 2018, the CVE commissioned my updated paper ‘Raw Meaty Bones Essentials’ – essential reading for every vet and pet owner the world over.
It was in the late 1980s that I first I began to question why the majority of my patients had bad breath, dirty, tartar-encrusted teeth, and swollen, painful gums.
Veterinary science was silent on the matter, but it was telling that there was one common denominator: all these sick pets were being fed manufactured pet food.
Further investigation led me to tumble to the realisation that raw meaty bones are key to keeping carnivores healthy, whether wild or domestic.
I figured out the right frequency and quality of raw meaty bones necessary to maintain good oral health in pets, and at that point I began recommending the diet to my clients.
The results were a cause for joy. Not only did the tooth and gum disease resolve, the animals gained a new lease of life, restoring their vitality, mood, and general wellbeing. Owners of older dogs and cats said their pets became like puppies and kittens again.
The feedback from delighted pet owners makes me confident that knowledge of the benefits of a raw meaty bones diet is worth thousands in potential savings on vet bills over the course of a pet’s lifetime.
It solves a serious problem. Significant periodontal (gum) disease is reckoned to affect 80 per cent of dogs and 85 per cent of cats by the age of three.
The disease is triggered by the build-up of plaque and harmful bacteria and leads to oral disease with swollen, bleeding, and sore gums.
Left untreated, gum disease can result in a wide range of chronic and potentially life-limiting conditions including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Pet owners can spend substantial amounts at the vets for teeth cleaning services as well as treatments for illnesses related to periodontal disease.
But these treatments are only a short-term and costly palliative that do nothing to address the root cause of the problem.
In 1994, I proposed a new theory that explained why carnivores require raw meaty bones, the ‘Cybernetic Hypothesis of Periodontal Disease in Mammalian Carnivores’, which was published in the respected periodical Journal of Veterinary Dentistry.
And based on more than three decades’ research and observation, operating to remove teeth of up to 15 pets per week, I was able to conclude that periodontal disease is a direct result of feeding pets industrialised, highly processed canned and kibbled pet food.
I’m the first to admit that my informal study does not provide the statistical analysis showing that pet food is the main determinant in periodontal disease. I can say that of all the pets I have treated, an industrialised diet was the prime factor common to all.
It’s for that reason that I describe the standard diet we feed our pet dogs and cats as ‘junk pet food’,
Tartar begins building up on pets’ teeth from the very first bowl because soft food lacks the required toughness and texture to clean and massage a dog’s teeth and gums effectively. Kibble bypasses the teeth and is swallowed whole.
By contrast, the ripping and scraping of raw meaty bones – such as whole chickens, pigs’ heads, fish, and ribs of lamb – provide the necessary abrasive action to maintain optimal oral health.
Pets should be fed raw meaty bones several times per week. Owners can store the food in the fridge or freezer just like they would with their own fresh meat.
I’ve been dubbed the ‘whistleblower vet’ on account of my mission to ‘lift the lid’ on the harmful effects of an industrialised pet food diet, and have been ostracised by many of my peers, but I have no regrets.
I’m giving voice to the voiceless and standing up for pet owners, who sadly are often deceived by the glossy advertising that claims junk pet food is nutritious and healthy for their pets.
It’s for these reasons that I’ve shared my findings in my new book, Multi-Billion-Dollar Pet Food Fraud: Hiding in Plain Sight, which is a hard-hitting exposé of the ‘junk pet food industry’.
In the book I accuse multinational pet food manufacturers of creating nothing less than a global pet gum disease pandemic directly attributable to their products.
The science is clear. In the wild, wolves and cats, both big and small, keep their teeth and gums in good condition by devouring the raw meaty bones of their prey.
Pet dogs and cats are modified and domesticated predators, yet most have gum disease at a level warranting clinical intervention.
Why is that? It is, sadly, the smelly, visible, and virtually inevitable outcome of a mushy, processed junk pet food diet.
The way I see it, pet food manufacturers are selling and promoting products that are unnatural and grossly unfit for purpose.
Raw meaty bones, by contrast, are both nutritious and medicinal in effect, and completely aligned with the natural biological needs of carnivores such as dogs and cats.
The ripping and scraping as they tear into raw meaty bones will, I am confident, keep your pets’ teeth clean and gums massaged, with the bonus that dogs and cats will be at a significantly reduced risk of developing more serious diseases as they get older.
Based on the glowing feedback I’ve received from pet owners, moving your dogs and cats over to a raw meaty bones diet will make those expensive teeth-cleaning trips to the vet a thing of the past.
I’ve found that most pets take to the new diet very quickly and while there are always risks with anything, if you make sure not to cut up the bones before feeding them to your pets then there shouldn’t be a danger of choking.
I accept that many pet owners will prefer to stay with what they know, but if my research does sound intriguing then I’d recommend learning more by reading my books, which along with Multi-Billion-Dollar Pet Food Fraud include Raw Meaty Bones: Promote Health, first published in 2001, and 2005’s Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones.
Multi-Billion-Dollar Pet Food Fraud: Hiding in Plain Sight by Dr Tom Lonsdale is available on Amazon in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats, priced £13.59, £7.99 and £8.48 respectively. For more information, visit www.thepetfoodcon.com or follow Dr Lonsdale on YouTube.